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Monday, November 11, 2013

Mixed Prints Tee

This top was inspired by one I saw at Anthropologie that was black and white stripe mixed with a geometric print.  I found these two color coordinating prints at Sawyer Brook and decided to give it a go.  The challenge was that the stripe is a lightweight sweater knit and the print is a cotton gauze.  The gauze had just enough stretch to be forgiving, and I cut those pieces a bit big to make sure they would fit. 
 I used my usual tee shirt pattern, OOP Butterick 3344 and cut it up to get these pieces.  Again, I just cut the yoke pieces about an inch wider than the pattern to make them roomy enough.  After I put the main pieces together, I wanted a little more of the floral fabric, so I added a vent hem with it.  I'm not totally sold on it.  It looks a little loincloth-y to me, so we'll see if I hack it off in a couple of weeks.
 I like how this is a bit different from your plain old tee shirt, but it's not too crazy.  :-)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

t shirt blouse

Here is my swirly paisley poly charmeuse top.  I bought this fabric from Sawyer Brook because I fell head over heels for the print.  I wasn't sure about the fabric, though - poly charmeuse.  I decided on a tee-shirt style blouse, and I am very happy with the result.
 I wore it to church last weekend with a simple black pencil skirt and felt very chic and fun.  :-)
 There are only four pieces - front, back, and sleeves.  There are two bust darts for shaping and that is it.
 Here it is untucked, with some shorts I made recently from Vanilla Pique at Sawyer Brook.  I am finessing the fit of the shorts.  I wear these, but the fit isn't perfect.  A little bunchy on the bum.

I was a little nervous to hem the charmeuse, but it turned out to be no problem.  Sometimes, simplicity is best!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress

I have something fun to share today.  I made the Ice Cream Dress from Oliver + S for my niece, Sarah.
Sarah is 18 months old and, um, healthy, so I made her a size 3.  The only thing I was worried about with the sizing for her was the sleeve circumference, but it ended up being just fine.  I think this dress will be able to fit her for a while as she grows taller.  I also gave her a long-sleeved tee and tights to wear under it in the winter.

 For some reason, it was easier to get shots of the back of this dress than the front.  I forgot that chasing after a toddler is hard!  The only thing I changed with the pattern was to add some purchased piping in the seams.  I added the patch pockets from the pattern, which you can't really see in any of the pics, but they are super cute, and she thought they were pretty cool. 

The fabric is from JoAnns, from the kids' section, I think.  I wanted to make myself a coordinating skirt but ran out of fabric!  The price of this pattern is more than I usually pay, but this is so cute and well-fitting that it was worth it.  I've already made it again for another niece (forgot to take a photo before gifting) and have plans for a third for yet another niece.

On an adult sewing note, I just finished up this silky tee shirt-style top tonight, so I can't wait to take some modeled pics tomorrow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vogue 7975 Striped collarless jacket

I finished up my jacket today!  The pattern is Vogue 7975.  The jacket came together pretty quickly.  I love a collarless jacket for ease of sewing. 

I used large hooks and eyes for closure, but I think I prefer it open.  Maybe I would need more hooks and eyes to prevent gaping totally.  I used a rayon cream-colored lining.  Nothing exciting, but I didn't want to risk a color or pattern showing through the cream stripes. 

I was super careful about matching up stripes everywhere, and I think it shows.  I am SO proud of this jacket.  I think it looks super expensive.  I will probably mostly wear it with jeans this winter, but it would also be fantastic with a cream skirt for a formal look.

I think the camera angle is making the collar look a little uneven because I was super meticulous about getting that to line up perfectly (had to rip it out and restitch once).  The only thing I wish I'd done better is keeping the facing/lining from peeking out.  I understitched, so I'm not sure how to do this better without topstitching.  Any ideas?

Friday, September 20, 2013

A bit more progress

I put in the lining tonight.  Now it just needs some hems, some hooks and eyes, and some good pressing.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Striped jacket progress

Here is the progress on my striped jacket.  I can't decide on the sleeve length, so I'm making them full length for now and we'll see what looks good.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Striped jacket in progress

Here is a look at my current project, which I am super excited about.  The pattern I am using is Vogue 7975.
For the fabric, I started with two colors of Sawyer Brook's textured cotton Marco.  I cut the fabric into 4" strips, selvage to selvage.  I then seamed them together to make this new, wide striped "fabric."  All of the pieces are cut out, and tonight I plan to cut out an allover lightweight interfacing to really protect the seaming.  I can't wait to see how this one comes out.  I'm thinking of making this an anchor to enter the Pattern Review mini-wardrobe contest.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tee shirt dress

Here is a simple little tee shirt dress I made last week.  The striped fabric is from JoAnn's and the solid blue is some leftover men's tee shirt fabric I bought to make something for a nephew.  The color match is pure serendipity.  I used my TNT tee shirt pattern and flared out below the hips.  I could have flared out a bit higher, though, because I feel like my hips and rear end are on display a bit in this dress.
These photos were taken after a long, comfortable day of wear, and the dress definitely grew throughout the day.  That was mostly a good thing since I felt a bit self-conscious about the form-fittedness in the morning.  It also grew lengthwise, though, and I'm thinking a new hem is in order.  What started above my knees is now below my knees.  What do you think about the length?
I didn't think to take a good photo of the shoulders,  They lap over in a wide boatneck.  I was planning to put a couple of buttons on them, but I couldn't find a good set in my notions drawer, so I left them open, and I didn't have any trouble during the day with the shoulders.

I tried to match up all of the little stripes on the side seam, but I am proud to say I didn't stress when a couple were a bit off.  I have the same striped knit in hot pink, and I'm planning another dress, but maybe a tank style to switch things up.  This dres is super comfortable.  It's like wearing a nightgown around all day.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pleated skirt

When I showed some progress on a draped dress last week, Diana asked if I was taking a draping class.  Um, no, but that would have been a good idea.  :-)  I have a very general idea of how draping works (tape your shape, pin the grain straight and go from there.)  It's just a lot of work though (and maybe I'm not really doing it right) and takes a few muslins, and you know that just doesn't excite me. 
Here was  my dress when I abandoned it for a skirt.  I liked the topstitching I started, though, so I incorporated that into the skirt I salvaged, and I added some patch pockets cut from the bodice material.

 I added a side zipper and used the top stitching on the waistband, pockets, and hem.  The fabric is a linen/rayon blend from Sawyer Brook.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kate Spade inspiration

I have a little bit of time to kill this morning, so I decided to look around the interwebs for some sewing inspiration for fall (which is basically a prolonged summer here in FL).  Inspiration struck at Kate Spade, perveyor of chic, classic clothes with a feminine, kind of girly, twist. 

I love all things yellow, and I love a casual dress with short sleeves since my shoulders are always taking a beating from the sun.  This dress makes me think I could even get on board with the little collar, but mine probably wouldn't be contrasting. I think this would be nice in some type of cotton/linen blend.

Oooh, this dress is so simple but so pretty.  It would even be cute shortened to a top.  It says it's a sweater dress, but I think it would be great in a light ponte.  I can't tell if the stripes are knit-in, but I think it would with some applied trim.

One more dress, and can you see a theme with the little sleeves?  I'm getting on board with some color blocking now that it's been mainstream for years.  :-)  I like this subtle blocking and I LOVE the box pleat skirt.  This isn't very casual, though, and casual is what I need.

Finally, a coat/jacket.  I'd like a collarless version like this, but I really don't need one.  It's fun to look, though.  The fabric looks beautifully textured close up.  It says it's 85% cotton/15% faux patent leather.  Ok, I'm intrigued.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Project Runway S13 E01

So who still watches Project Runway? 

I haven't loved the last few seasons, but I keep watching anyway.  I have to say, I enjoyed the premiere last night a lot.  There was a heavy focus on the sewing and the designs and less on the manufactured drama.  Thank you for that, Lifetime!  I liked it so much that I thought I'd run down the final looks (minimal drama discussion, I promise).

Bradon - The winner!  I thought this was the clear winner, and the judges agreed.  The use of the parachute cords was really interesting and effective, and he really knew how to use that crazy fabric.  I don't love the baby pink with the baby blue, but that's a small quibble here.

Sue - Second place.  Another good use of the fabric, and the gathering is interesting.  If Bradon's hadn't been so awesome, this would have been a solid win in my book.

Miranda - Oh my.  She started out in the top three, but they moved her to the bottom when everyone realized she hardly used any of the parachute fabric.  Loved that!  I'm a rules stickler.  :-)  Don't want to set a precident rewarding naughty ones.  The judges seemed to really like this look.  I thought it was ok, but nothing super special.  There were others I'd put in the top over this.
Angela went home, which I thought was a little nuts, and not just because she seemed very sweet.  This wasn't the most thrilling creation, but it looked to be pretty well made and it had some interest with the use of the different colors and the hood.  I think it speaks to the sewing skills in this bunch that a pretty well-made garment went home first.  Usually the first few to go are no-brainers.
Timothy - oh goodness, bless his heart.  What is there to say?  His shtick is that he's eco-friendly, and I can get behind that, but he made this poor girl walk down the runway barefoot and with no makeup or hair product.  Don't get me wrong - she's beautiful - but she just looked so sad, and who could blame her?  Timothy also wanted her to do a "performance piece" on the runway, and I guess she put her foot down on that one because she walked a regular walk.  To his credit, Timothy seemed open to the judges' critiques (um, you're not cool with electricity but are fine with burning synthetic fibers and releasing those gases).  They just highlighted the difficulty with being toooo preachy while a profession that requires some technology.  I'm pretty sure they kept him in to see what wackiness he does next week.
Sandro - well isn't he delightful?  NOT ONE JUDGE mentioned the elephant in the room - the fact that her girl bits were literally hanging out the bottom of her shorts!  Gotta love that model, though. She worked it anyway, delicately camoflauging her wardrobe malfunction with the cords.  The judges called this a swimsuit, which I can see, but earlier on, it was supposed to be shorts with a jacket.  The way too tight fit (and no jacket) takes it to swimsuit territory.  They actually seemed to like the outfit and were just upset with the styling.  Huh?
Moving on the the middle of the road:
Alexander - not bad, not fantastic.  Definitely middle of the road.  I would like the shape if the color blocking wasn't so distracting.
 Alexandria - Interesting.  I like the straps, if that's what they are) over the chest area.  Nice graphic touch.

 Dom - I actually really liked this jacket, but the rest wasn't show stopping.  I showed a back view so you can see the blue pleated detail on the sleeves.  Love that!

 Helen - I think this could have been in the bottom.  Are those splotches supposed to be symmetrical? 
 Jeremy - is it strange that I love these pants?  How did he make such great pants with parachute fabric?  It looks like he made the top from the additional fabric.  If he had used some more of the parachute to make the top, I would pick this for the top 3.
 Justin - the only interesting thing I can see here is that the skirt has some flappy bits on top.  I didn't think this was great from a design standpoint.  It looks well made, though.
 Kahindo - Interesting idea for the skirt, but it seems like she should have been able to do more with the great time allowance they had. 
 Karen - what is this?  It looks like she worked so hard on it and constructed it well, but it has no shape and the likes are not flattering at all.  It looks like a big, decoratively-painted sack.
 Kate - I am glad that Kate is back.  I think she got a bad rap last year, from what we saw of her in the confessionals.  She was dealing with a lot of whackos.  I also like her "girly girl" asthetic.  Even if it's not super cutting edge, no doubt it would be commercially successful, and I think she adds a lot of interest on this dress with the pleated pieces.
 Ken - Nice!

 One other thing I liked in this premiere - they had a day and a half to make these looks!  See how much better the results are when you give them a little time to sew??  Keep that up, producers!